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Community Story: Brandon Jacobs of Park Integrative Health

October 04, 2023

Meet Brandon Jacobs, co-founder of Park Integrative Health in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Brandon has built a dedicated team of 30+ passionate allied health professionals to help empower his community to reach their health goals.

What were you doing before founding Park Integrative Health?

I had always aspired to become a Physical Education teacher. So once I graduated from the University of Alberta, I went into the school system. I taught for four years at a K-12 school in a small town, where I taught both physical education and health. While I really loved teaching and coaching, the school system felt challenging, and I eventually left it. After that, I pursued a career in personal training, massage therapy, and yoga. I did all of those as careers for nearly a decade before I shifted my focus to founding Park Integrative Health.

How did you start Park Integrative Health?

My wife, Heather, and I were discussing our plans for when she finished acupuncture school. We were considering opening a facility to offer acupuncture, massage, personal training, and yoga at first. At the same time, I had a massage client, Dr. Neeja Bakshi (one of our co-founders now) who had been coming to me for 12 years. I had grown close to Neeja, and her family, and knew of her aspirations to move away from a hospital setting. So, when I was beginning to explore the idea of opening my own space, we got together and began talking about the idea of creating a space together where physicians and allied health providers could work collaboratively and as equals.

It was really from there that Park Integrative Health started. We decided to take the leap and embark on this journey together because we saw an opportunity for significant change in the healthcare industry.

Initially, our team consisted of myself, Neeja, her husband Mahesh, and my wife Heather. It was a very small team compared to the more than 50 team members we have now.

What does Park Integrative Health mean to you?

For me, it’s a passion, driven by my own challenging health history, which led me to integrative healthcare. Without this model and access to various providers, I wouldn’t be here today. Bringing this approach to my hometown, Sherwood Park, where I grew up, is something I’m extremely proud of.

It’s also a form of legacy. While many places are opening integrated clinics, we excel by working closely with family physicians, offering an internal referral system that makes our business successful and seamless.

With such a large team, how have you made sure you hire for both clinic and team success?

From the beginning, we’ve emphasized understanding individual preferences. When new team members join, they complete an appreciation form, aligning with the concept of the five love languages. This helps us tailor how we show appreciation based on their preferences. Not everyone feels valued the same way. Similarly, we’ve applied this principle to our learning opportunities, recognizing that people have different learning styles.

As our team has grown, we’ve become more selective in our hiring process, resulting in lower turnover. This allows us to maintain a strong emphasis on values and culture.

We prioritize open dialogue during the first three months to ensure a good fit for both parties. Our interview process offers transparency, allowing our candidates to make an informed decision as to whether Park Integrative Health is a good fit for them and vice versa.

We also have a small podcast that we ask them to listen to, which provides insights into our work to help them get a feeling for the clinic and the team’s values to make sure this is somewhere they would like to work.

What do you see as the benefits of having a team approach to care?

I know many clients and patients appreciate the convenience of having their physician refer them to in-house providers. For example, we can recommend our mental health provider, saving them the hassle of searching for one. The integrative approach allows us to have a client care coordinator take care of these referrals, and it really means that clients have a seamless connection between providers, without having to worry about personality fit, schedules, referral awareness, and other barriers. This collaborative care approach prioritizes clients and gives them access to various modalities, whether or not they have a family doctor in our clinic. It puts clients at the center of their healthcare experience.

For our team, it means we can prioritize our clients’ feelings around their care. For instance, some clients prefer not to talk much, and we respect that. This level of care ensures that they don’t have to repeatedly share their story, as all providers have access to their information. Once they sign the collaborative care document, our entire team is able to start working with them collaboratively.

PIH is expanding its space and bringing on new disciplines; what conversations did the business have to make the decision to expand?

For us, it was really about what was best for our community. The community had been asking for a long time when we would be adding physiotherapy and chiropractic care to our offerings. I would say it was more of a call to action from the community than a really well-thought-out plan.

We had some numbers in mind, too, to make sure that we could make this growth move successfully. I think all businesses should have numbers in mind for teams to reach. Our leadership team has monthly and quarterly meetings to ensure alignment with our goals. In this case, we established specific numerical goals for the next five years and worked backward from there to make a plan to achieve them successfully.

Let’s talk about your branding. Park has a strong visual brand; how did you approach finding that?

Our values guide all our decisions. They are integral to everything we do, and because of that, when we worked with our external marketer, particularly for initiatives like our expansion and website redesign, it was easy to work with them to create something that really resonated with us as a team and business.

I truly believe investing in building your brand and establishing your voice is crucial for a business. It should be your guiding principle for all your endeavours. Before diving into marketing and advertising, we focused on understanding who we are, our values, and the message we wanted to convey to our community.

You’ve also invested in building relationships using brand ambassadors; when did you start your ambassador program and why?

We started connecting with community leaders within the first couple of months of opening. I really wanted to connect with people who believed in integrative healthcare and could help spread our message.

Our brand ambassadors primarily embody our clinic’s vision of integrative healthcare, speaking for the brand as a whole. I encourage them to prioritize promoting the clinic and the care we offer as a whole, versus speaking to one treatment or practitioner, to establish the clinic as a lasting presence.

Now we aim to expand the reach of integrative healthcare together and embrace a community-oriented approach. Even the busiest companies continue to advertise to maintain their visibility, and we adopt a similar mindset within our community context. We’ve organized various community panels around relationships and leadership. We’ve engaged our community leaders, some of whom have actually become our ambassadors. Over time, we’ve built strong personal relationships with them, extending beyond professional connections. They’ve become friends, and we know about their families and lives outside appointments.

Why did you choose Jane for your practice?

The decision to switch to Jane was in progress long before we actually made the change. Our initial system was cumbersome, particularly for managing schedules, invoices, and the ambassador program. About a year after opening, we began discussing the transition to Jane, waiting for the right numbers to align. We recognized that Jane’s usability and integration made it the clear choice for us, so much so that we didn’t explore other systems.

What are your favourite Jane features?

One of the features I would have to choose is the customer support. We emphasize that any of our new providers get training directly from Jane representatives as Jane has unlimited support and incredible resources.

Another one would be the direct insurance billing. Initially, I was hesitant about direct billing. However, we recognized the value it offered to our clients, and Jane has really helped facilitate that. The transition was a big decision for our team, but once we started the process it was straightforward.

How has Jane grown with your practice from 10 staff to 30 providers?

Jane has been incredibly useful and accommodating as we’ve expanded our services to include medical aesthetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, and so many more disciplines within the last year. Its user-friendly interface has covered all of our needs, and Jane’s prompt customer support is invaluable.

Everyone on the team appreciates the ease of contacting a Jane representative anytime and they really alleviated the concerns about transitioning from our old system. We always knew Jane was essential for the company’s growth and are so glad we finally made the switch!


If you’re not already part of the Jane community, welcome! We’re so glad you found us. If you’re in search of Practice Management software to help run your clinic, we’d love for you to meet Jane. Book a demo with one of our lovely support staff, or sign up here!

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